Android 13 could revamp screensavers with info overlays

Google released the second Developer Preview of Android 13 last week, which contained many changes and new features, some of which are not quite ready for prime time yet. The update includes code that points to a future redesign of Android’s built-in screensavers, which may arrive in later betas or the final release of Android 13.

Android has supported screensavers for years, although they aren’t necessary (or really useful) on most mobile devices. However, there are a few changes in Android 13 specifically aimed at desktops, and a renewed focus on screensavers could be part of that effort. Android 13 reportedly contains new classes in its code base for “complications”, which appear to be data items overlaid on the screensaver.

Android Screensavers 13

Source: Mishaal Rahman

Google’s software platform for smartwatches, Wear OS, also has small information panels called “complications.” They’ll likely serve the same purpose here, with Android 13 currently including code for air quality complications, “cast info” (presumably Chromecast), date, time, and weather.

New screensaver code could be related to Android 13’s improved desktop support

The new screensaver code could tie into Android 13’s improved desktop support, but it could also help unify Android’s many codebases. For example, if Android itself can generate photo wallpaper screensavers with weather information and other visible data, Google wouldn’t have to create a different version for Android TV and Google TV.

Android 13 Developer Preview 2 also adds execute permissions for app notifications, improved Japanese text wrapping, new text conversion API for languages ​​like Japanese, COLR fonts, MIDI 2.0, Bluetooth LE Audio and other changes. Check out our main Android 13 Developer Preview 2 coverage for more info and download links for Pixel devices.

Google is expected to release the first Android 13 beta in April, with a stable version arriving sometime after July. Android 12 arrived in October last year and Android 11 was released in September 2020, so the timing for Android 13 will likely follow the same pattern.

Source: Hope, Mishaal Rahman (Twitter)

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